Saturday, June 20

Neil Parker

2015-06-20

 

 

I was extremely disappointed when everyone jumped all over Dobber earlier this week. I felt sort of special believing I was the only one being smeared in the comments.

 

Alas, so I’ll beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past …

 

 

***

 

 

It is a standoff point in the NHL, as teams hold their cards close to the vest, and only the obvious leaks. So, before jumping into some hockey talk, I thought a quick NFL addition to the ramblings wouldn’t be too far offside. After all, it did lead me to begin thinking about fantasy hockey.

 

While I zipped around to grab my father a couple golf shirts and a couple dozen golf balls for Father’s Day, I tuned into the Football Guys podcast “The Audible.” It was absolutely fantastic. I guess they have like eight per week, but this was the first one I’ve ever caught.

 

They did a brief take on Mike Evans, and I’m convinced he is going to be my third-round selection frequently this draft season. He finished last season as the 11th-ranked wide receiver in standard leagues with 12 touchdowns and 1,051 yards as a rookie.

 

Many will worry about Jameis Winston, but ultimately, Evans is a red-zone nightmare for defenses. I hope everyone worries, actually.

 

I’m buying late in the second round, if it is called for, too. Evans was a killer contributor for me last season in a number of leagues. And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve got a tendency to be a homer.

 

 

***

 

 

The most difficult part of player evaluation and projections is predicting how rapidly there will be ascension and decline.

 

Sticking with the Mike Evans example, there is a base line of high-end performance, and counting on a slight step forward isn’t out of the question. In fact, just repeating last season’s numbers will do and anything more could be considered a bonus.

 

Cliffy discussed a pair of defensemen in yesterday’s ramblings, and he has an excellent grasp of how opportunity can impact fantasy success. Be it ice time, usage, linemates or additional factors.

 

For me, it is ultimately an inner battle between what I’ve seen and what I foresee. And unlike Mike, I often overlook the setting needed to present an avenue for what I’ve seen to become what I foresee. This was particularly true last season with Nathan MacKinnon.

 

What I saw in the 2014 playoffs was a superstar, and what I didn’t foresee, was Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay eating into top-six minutes and outing MacKinnon at times to balance the lines.

 

To be fair to myself, no one should have seen that, including Patrick Roy.

 

But it happened, and MacKinnon was a huge disappointment, and he likely cost me a points-only pool. Obviously, the injury didn’t help, but the damage was done before that with who I passed up to select him.

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